US officials Monday confirmed that pigs at a Minnesota fair have caught the H1N1 virus, but insisted people could not be infected by the animals and pork remained safe to eat.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement that the US National Veterinary Services Laboratories had confirmed the presence of 2009 pandemic swine flu in a pig sample collected at the Minnesota State Fair.
But the statement said infection of a fair pig does not mean commercial herds were infected because show pigs and commercially raised pigs are kept separately.
"We have fully engaged our trading partners to remind them that several international organizations, including the World Organization for Animal Health, have advised that there is no scientific basis to restrict trade in pork and pork products," said Vilsack.
"People cannot get this flu from eating pork or pork products. Pork is safe to eat."
The infected pigs in Minnesota have so far not shown any flu symptoms and appear to be in good health.